Gloria: The End of The Second Year
By Richard Messer

Each time I wake she dies again,
he opens the door of her dying and starts the engine.
While I dress for work, he drives fast
through foothills and badlands, he has my face
and he seeks me, his future self, unable to believe
I exist. All he can imagine is bones
in the sage, a white rib cage like a cradle--
but too small for the death he carries.

I make it night for him, he flicks the lights,
rolls the window down to winter. As I crest this moment,
I see his glare in the rearview mirror--crying,
how much of her dying does he have left to drive?
I do not know.
She said, each time someone dies a star goes out-- look,
look at the sky!

Previously published by Bottom Dog Press in Messer's book Murder in the Family


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